Susan Pankowsky

  • NO to Adoption Discrimination in Congress

    A foster care and adoption license to discriminate measure was recently put into a health and human services funding bill in the House Appropriations Committee.

    The “Aderholt Amendment” allows foster care and adoption service providers across the country to discriminate against children and prospective parents based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.

    We need your help to tell Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker:  NO ADOPTION DISCRIMINATION in the 2019 Appropriations bill!  We will deliver hard copies to their offices.

    1,047 signatures

    Dear Senators Alexander and Corker:

    We urge you to act to oppose the Aderholt amendment allowing discrimination in foster care and adoption services in the FY19 House Labor-HHS appropriations bill and ensure that the measure is NOT included in any Senate or final appropriations bill.

    It would allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption service providers to discriminate against children in care and against prospective parents, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and marital status.

    The measure breaks the cardinal rule of child welfare services: to act in the best interest of the child. This amendment would actually HARM CHILDREN.

    This amendment would greatly harm the 440,000 children in foster care, particularly the 117,000 who are waiting to be adopted into loving, forever homes.  There is a crisis in foster care due to the huge shortage of available families for children. Each year, over half the children waiting to be adopted do not find a loving home, and most devastatingly, over 17,000 foster youth age out of care without a forever family.  Those youth are at greater risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, homelessness, unemployment, and being trafficked.

    Speak out against this poison pill amendment,; let your leadership know you will not support a funding bill with the measure included, and vote against any appropriations measure that includes such discriminatory provisions.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • posted about Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111 on Facebook 2017-04-27 22:10:09 -0500
    Sign the petition: Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111

    Governor Haslam, Veto SB1085/HB1111

    signing.jpg

    Add your name and urge Governor Haslam to veto SB1085/HB1111, the Sneaky LGBT Erasure Bill.  After you sign the petition, share it with your friends.  We will deliver a hard copy of the signatures to the Governor's Office.  Your voice can help determine whether he uses the VETO pen or the BECOMES LAW pen!

    5,718 signatures

    Dear Governor Haslam,

    We ask you to veto SB1085/HB1111.  This bill, as the Attorney General has noted, is broadly written.  Its vagueness could result in conflicts with existing laws about judicial interpretation.  These conflicts are likely to cause discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly with respect to marriage, adoption, and legal documents.  This bill risks subjecting Tennessee to the same scrutiny that North Carolina has received.  We cannot afford hundreds of millions of dollars in economic boycotts and sanctions.  Please, veto this bill so we can avoid judicial chaos and costly discrimination.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • Give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option

    In April the owners of the Wild Cow and Graze restaurants added gender-neutral signs to their single occupancy restrooms, but they were later told that this move meant they were no longer in compliance with the Metro code.  They made the move to serve their customers and employees and to protest the Legislature's bathroom bill that was pending at the time.  You can read about the background here.

    Metro Nashville Councilman Brett Withers has filed a bill allowing businesses the option of gender-neutral bathrooms.  You can read the bill at this link.  The bill is up for second of three readings on June 7 at the 6:30 Metro Council meeting in the Metro Courthouse.

    Sign the petition to show your support.

    150 signatures

    We ask that the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County adopt BL2016-238 by Councilman Brett Withers and give Nashville businesses a gender-neutral bathroom option.  This bill comes at the request of a local business and it is the right legislation for customers and employees.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • Governor Haslam, Fight for trans students and against SB2387/HB2414

    Please, join us in encouraging Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to fight against this attack on transgender students.

    985 signatures

    Dear Governor Haslam,

    We call on you to do everything in your power to lobby against passage of SB2387/HB2414, the anti-transgender student bathroom bill.  We also ask that you VETO the bill if it reaches your desk. 

    The bill endangers vulnerable students and it risks significant U.S. Department of Education funds to Tennessee.  If this bill became law, the enforcement would be a nightmare for school districts across the state. 

    Show the world that Tennessee is a welcoming state.  Thank you for considering our views.

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  • endorsed 2015-08-18 17:04:50 -0500

    Updated with response: Stand against the hate of Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ in McMinnville

    UPDATE:  Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ called us this morning and talked about his views.  He is not pro-equality, but he wants to make absolutely clear that he does NOT support the stoning of LGBT people.  You can read his response at the link

    The New Civil Rights Movement has reported on the teachings of Minister Ben Bailey of the Central Church of Christ in McMinnville in which the pastor tries to justify the stoning of LGBT people as biblical. 

    People of faith and people of no particular faith alike reject the dangerous extremism of Pastor Bailey.  At a time when hate crimes are up against LGBT people in Tennessee and at a time when the nationwide murders of transgender people in particular have reached crisis levels, such hate has no rightful place in religion or in civil society. 

    Despite the pastor's notoriety, hate will NOT define McMinnville or the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.  We were in McMinnville recently for the Summer of Love tour with a strong showing of equality advocates.  Read the report if you doubt there are many great people in the area living their hopes for full equality.  Upper Cumberland Pride, which serves the region, is an organization that is growing again and now reunited to TEP.  We know they will continue to raise awareness for the safety and equality of LGBT people in the area.

    We urge people of good will across the state and nation to stand with those in McMinnville and the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee and against the hateful rhetoric of Pastor Bailey.  Add your name as a show of solidarity!

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